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Falls: Seniors at Higher Risk

 

It is well established that seniors aged 65 and older suffer many more falls than other age groups; in fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older persons. One out of every four Americans will fall every year, and every eleven seconds a senior is treated in the ER for fall-related injuries, with 2.8 million injuries treated each year.

Fear of Falling

Just the fear of a fall can cause some seniors to greatly limit their activities. This solution can lead to isolation, less exercise, and depression. Being out and about, sharing the hustle and bustle of life and interacting with others is an important way to stay mentally alert – and healthy. Rather than letting fear of falling dictate your life activities, new technology makes it possible to protect yourself. A personal emergency system can help you regain your confidence with the knowledge that help will be on the way should you fall.

Fall Prevention for Seniors: Tips and Tricks

If you are fearful about the consequences of falling, you have reason for concern. 95 percent of hip injuries are the result of a fall. Take a proactive approach to help allay your concerns. Some of the most effective ways to prevent falls are body-strengthening activities, including dancing, walking, golf, swimming, and senior exercise programs. Maintaining mobility is best achieved by staying active. It is also important to have your eyes checked every year so your vision is as clear as possible. Tripping over curbs, uneven pavement or walking surfaces can be more easily avoided with the right prescription. Carry a flashlight with you if you plan to be out at night. Very small, extremely bright flashlights are available, easily slipped into pocket or handbag.

Some fall hazards in the home include throw rugs and clutter, so keeping your floors completely free of these items can be helpful in avoiding falls in the home. If your home is dimly lit, add more light. If you have slippery floors, investigate various slip-resistant flooring options as an alternative. When showering or bathing, add non-slip elements for safety.

Balance: It’s an Issue

As we age, the body goes through various changes. One of the most disturbing can be the loss of the ability to balance. Balancing is a complex physical activity and can be affected by various factors, including medications, inner ear function, or disease. Every person has six balance sensors, including eyes, brain, inner ear, muscles, joints, and the sense of touch, and one or more of these factors can contribute to the loss of balance.

If you are experiencing balance problems, specific exercise programs are available and should be sought as soon as you notice changes. Talk to your doctor and discuss your concerns; he or she may choose to reduce certain medications or advise a specific exercise program to help you increase your ability to balance. Some doctors focus on mobility and balance, and finding one of these experts in your area to help can be reassuring – your condition very likely can be improved if you take the right steps. Don’t give up! Your life is all ahead of you, and you want to be able to make the most of it.

You Are What You Eat: It’s True.

Many seniors cut corners when it comes to diet. Rather than going through the fuss of cooking a healthy, nutritious meal, they depend upon easier solutions — with detrimental effects. Without adequate nutrients, the body weakens, and aging can accelerate. Take the time to cook meals that promote good health, rather than counting on calorie-rich, nutrition-poor foods. If you are looking for a quick meal, try a smoothie rather than toast, cookies, or sandwiches. There are countless delicious recipes for healthy smoothies, even those with a high vegetable content that taste like a fruity milkshake. Fewer calories and more protein are important during the later stages of life. For a tasty treat, turn to protein rather than starchy, sugary, or fatty foods. Don’t choose toast and tea or a bowl of cereal for dinner – although appealing, these options do not do the body any good.

A Personal Emergency System Can Be a Lifesaver

For a higher level of home safety, ensure you are protected by a personal emergency system and wear a pendant or bracelet at all times. Knowing help will be on its way should you have an unexpected health emergency can reduce stress and help you have a happier, more confident life. For a full review of the various types available, and their features, get all the pertinent data at Medical Alert Comparison.

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